SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium -- Max Verstappen thinks Red Bull made the right decision to gamble on a single flying lap in the wet during Q3 at the Belgian Grand Prix, even though it meant they didn't have enough fuel to enjoy the best of the track conditions at the very end of the session.
Verstappen qualified seventh and teammate Daniel Ricciardo eighth as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, both Force Indias and the Haas of Romain Grosjean benefitted from a drying track to set quicker times at the end of the session.
Verstappen and Ricciardo had to pit before the track improved as they only had enough fuel for one flying lap after switching to intermediates from slicks. That meant the two Red Bulls were the first to hit the track on intermediates and were hoping to get a banker lap in case the conditions worsened later in the session.
In the end the conditions went the other way, but without the benefit of hindsight, Verstappen felt Red Bull made the right choice on the information available at the time.
"I think at the time we made the right call," he said. "It was just very unfortunate that it stopped raining. Basically we were the most organised compared to the other teams, that caught us out today."
Teammate Daniel Ricciardo felt Red Bull's strategy was worth the gamble as the car didn't have the pace to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes in a straight fight.
"For sure the timing hurt us at the end. It seemed like the right thing at the time, like if you look at what Seb did in Budapest trying to be the first out there before the track gets too wet. So, it felt right but then it dried.
"Even when we are out on track it was still a bit of a handful in those conditions. So I am not convinced that we still had a good enough car in those conditions to get pole, but sure we'd been better than eighth. Pole was still optimistic."